Archive for U.S. Presidential Election 2016

Student Reflection on the U.S. Elections

We have received some concerned questions from prospective students about last week’s U.S. election results and what a Trump presidency means for students applying to SIPA. As a school of public and international affairs, SIPA has always been a place where students of different backgrounds can come together to peacefully and respectfully discuss their political views and challenge each other to expand their worldviews. We want to reassure everyone that SIPA will continue to encourage students to be open with each other and to advocate for what they believe in while respecting all members of our community.

As a current student, it is clear to me that SIPA strives to be a supportive community for all of its students. In the days since the election there have been several discussions and forums set up for students to express their reactions to the election results, and a tremendous out pour of support from SIPA faculty and peers. Professors have been available to share their views and reflect on what the election means for the SIPA community, and students have gathered together to strategize for the coming years. The election results may have come as a shock to many, but that hasn’t gotten SIPA students down. This gives us the opportunity to use what we have learned here at SIPA and to unite together. I came to SIPA to advance my career in human rights advocacy, and this election cycle has only strengthened my resolve to achieve that goal.

Whether you are upset or happy with the results of the election, and in the wake of political events the world over, it is time for everyone to take a long hard look at what the political system has become and how we can make it better. SIPA is the place for you to do that. The coursework, along with the opportunities to interact with experts in their respective fields and peers from around the world, will give you the knowledge and tools to overcome the challenges our world faces today. It is our responsibility to challenge what we see as unjust and to advocate on the behalf of others that are unable to do so themselves. SIPA will be just one stepping stone towards the positive change we all want for ourselves and the world.

[Photo courtesy of Alejandra Rivera Flavia | New Yorkers posted Post-Its on subway walls to express their feelings about the election results.]

Our global community reacts to the U.S. Presidential Elections

The morning after the United States elected its 45th president Seeples were full of emotions concerning the future of, well, just about everything. The Republic didn’t elect the person many of them thought would come out on top. And it seemed the results of this year’s election would have a resounding impact on them, more so than in other elections.

To help students process their feelings, both positive and negative, SIPA Dean Merit E. Janow and Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger issued separate statements regarding the results of the U.S. Presidential Elections. Here’s what they had to say on Wednesday:

Dear SIPA students, faculty and staff,

Yesterday’s U.S. Presidential election has left me and many in our community with great uncertainty and concern about what the results mean for each of us and a host of important public policies in the United States and globally.

While we have a number of events already planned at SIPA in the coming weeks to discuss the elections, we will convene a conversation tomorrow, Thursday, November 10, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 1512 of the International Affairs Building. Although I am returning from University business in China and am unable to attend, I have invited several faculty members to share their thoughts about the election and its implications for policy. I welcome you to join in this session, which will include an open microphone for those in attendance. You may find additional information below.

As always, please know that the Office of Student Affairs and its advising deans are available to meet with students individually about these or any other issues, and can also provide information to you on available University resources should you need them.

Sincerely yours,
Merit E. Janow
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs
Professor of Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs

The discussion is closed to members of the SIPA community. I’ll be there on Thursday and will share any highlights with all of you on the blog. To continue the conversation, you’re all invited to the first Diversity Spotlight Series event, either in-person or on Facebook Live, Monday, Nov. 14.


Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am writing because of concerns for our community arising out of yesterday’s national election.  Certainly, not in my lifetime has there been a choice that is embraced by so many while also causing feelings of apprehension and vulnerability among so many others, including many students, faculty, and staff across our diverse University community.

There are three primary challenges for the country and, more importantly for purposes of this letter, for our community. The first is that those in distress have the right opportunities to raise and discuss whatever anxieties they are feeling now. I will be personally engaged in this dialogue, and I strongly urge you to seek out the discussions and meetings being planned throughout the University by all schools and departments. The second is that we not let different viewpoints about this election, strong as the feelings on every side might be, descend into intolerance or intimidation. This requires strong intellectual character on all our parts. And the third point is that we all have to make sure that we are able to continue on with the work of scholarship and teaching, which is not only our central mission but ultimately the best answer to overcoming divisions and even the risk, feared by many, that our principles may be violated.

In these moments, we must turn to our fundamental values, among them a commitment to freedom of thought and expression, dedication to tolerance and reason, respect for diversity and differing points of view, and a determination to do what we do with the utmost integrity and courage.

Lee C. Bollinger

As Dean Janow’s statement mentions, SIPA will host a series of special lectures in the coming weeks, all centered around the implications of the election results. These events were previously planned (no matter who won), and I’ll share more details as the public events approach.

In the meantime, if you want to know just what Seeples were thinking the day before the elections, review this video by SIPA’s student-run newspaper, The Morningside Post.

There’s also this Facebook post, in which, after reflecting on last night’s election results, Thomas C. Guerra, MPA ’17 and President of the SIPA Student Association, reminded his classmates on Facebook the importance of leveraging the policy school as a key asset in educating tomorrow’s leaders and enhancing his peers’ abilities to shape the future in a positive way.

After reflecting on last night's election results, Thomas Guerra, MPA '17, reminded his classmates on Facebook the important role policy schools have in educating tomorrow's leaders and his peers abilities to shape the future in a positive way.

And here are some recent tweets mentioning our professors in the news sharing their opinions on the outcome.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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